The name “Portugal” derives from a Roman or pre-Roman settlement called Portus Cale (the modern city of Porto) near the mouth of the Douro River. The Romans referred to this region as the province of Lusitania, and the prefix Luso (meaning “Portuguese”) is still used in some contexts.
The majority of the citizens are Catholic, nominally if not in practice. Local village life is marked by celebrations honoring the saints and the Virgin Mary.
Portuguese is a Romance language with Latin roots, although some words are Arabic in origin. Emerging as a language distinct from Latin and Castilian in the ninth century, Portuguese was made the official language
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